Hath September | Day 29 | Getting Down | Roberta Hill

September 29, 2012

Getting Down

Thinking of national debt and a coup d’etat,
I drive west and see above me in the cobalt sky
twelve vapor trails streaming an abstract pattern
of angles and drift, ribboning some lines, rubbing out
others. People are flying high up there.
Down here, the fierce sun carmines the horizon,
warns that everything comes from loving
light, even what we need–the rain.
Stooped by drought, corn grows crammed together
Like a population sinking without space. The fields
look soft as amber pools against these surging hills,
acres without cob or tassel.

The shock and awe we sent South drifts
down from the atmosphere. After all, we know
the earth is round. Pine and poplar yellow from more
than autumn. No rain. No clouds in the growing dark.
We piece together fractured news, note polls, listen to
Talking heads who value the stern old ways
of plunderers or the vision of changing
whatever hasn’t yet and won’t. No rain for a nation
of nomads made of corn and wind. Let’s take
The heat of our own hands for sharing bread,
Writing books, growing flowers, helping one another,
whether or not we curse cold, drought and debt.
Two ways hath November: stand up or bend over.

Roberta Hill, an Oneida poet and writer, is a Professor of English and American Indian Studies and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison CICADAS, a new and selected poetry collection, is forthcoming from Holy Cow! Press in April 2013. She is a Fellow of the Black Earth Institute.


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